The Victorian Society have raised “major concerns” about a high rise development which would see a 19th century Bermondsey factory gutted to make way for flats from the designers of the Shard.

The plans would see demolition for the buildings at 40-44 Bermondsey Street and the gutting of the Vinegar Yard Warehouse to make way for three new buildings from five to 17 storeys.  

But the Victorian Society say the plans would cause too much damage to the warehouse, which dates between 1857 and 1872, and that the height and design is out of character with the area.

And if approved by Southwark Council, the scheme could set a “precedent for future damage,”  Olivia Stockdale, conservation adviser for the Victorian society, said.

“The proposed plans would render the remains of the warehouse as wallpaper to the plinth of a glass office block.

“The proposed use of glass instead of brick would create an extreme contrast with the other buildings in the conversation area.

“It is important that despite its proximity to London Bridge, Bermondsey maintains its own historic individuality and any development should be sympathetic to the area and its character.

“The industrial buildings of Southwark are integral to the wider history of London and the loss of many historic buildings through damage means that it is crucial that we protect what remains of our industrial past and not set a precedent for further damage.”

Objections logged on the scheme’s application also share concerns about the building’s height, style,  and that the tall building could create a wind tunnel.

Supporters of the scheme are pleased to see some development in the area, with new office space offering the promise of new jobs.

In their design and access statement, applicants Three Ten Bermondsey Limited said after public consultations and meetings with council officers “we now feel confident our proposals both satisfy the many important constraints of heritage and context and has risen to the complex challenge with a high quality design.”